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Arts & Culture

Summer Concert Preview

Cold War Kids 6.13 -  Newport Music Hall Cold War Kids are a difficult band to pin down as their influences are as diverse as their sound, taking lines from Jeff Buckley, Bob Dylan, and the Velvet Underground. Their unique aesthetic and impassioned live performances generated quite the buzz in the mid 2000’s, especially from [...]
Danny Hamen



Cold War Kids

6.13 –  Newport Music Hall

Cold War Kids are a difficult band to pin down as their influences are as diverse as their sound, taking lines from Jeff Buckley, Bob Dylan, and the Velvet Underground. Their unique aesthetic and impassioned live performances generated quite the buzz in the mid 2000’s, especially from the likes of bloggers who played a part in generating the hype needed for the band to reach the mainstream.

Walk the Moon


If you were under the impression that no culture comes out of Upper Arlington, then you are unfamiliar with Walk the Moon—the radio dominating power-pop quartet that have garnered quite a following since their inception in 2010. From Bonnaroo to Lolipalooza, Conan to Letterman, the Ohio-based group is back in town, so if you’re lucky, you can hopefully spot their parents hooting and hollering from the front row.

Social Distortion


For 30 years, this legendary L.A.-based band has been giving us punk songs in the rockabilly key of Hank Williams, backed by the raucous swagger of The Stones. But unlike the latter, Social D are still cranking out new tunes, letting their fans know that you are never too old to be a punk.



Back in 2005, Paramore were just a handful of teenagers from Tennessee playing sugar-coated pop-punk songs in the vein of Avril Lavigne and Jimmy Eat World. Today, they have become a mainstay of the genre, filling stadiums with nostalgic fans festooned with angst and heavy eyeliner. With a recent performance on Colbert and a new album in the mix, consider this their comeback.

Taylor Swift

7.7 – Ohio Stadium

Much like Dolly Parton, Taylor Swift managed to pull off one of the rarest transitions in music: a transformation from contemporary country starlet into a mainstream pop sensation. Whatever your personal opinions happen to be on T-Swift, you can’t deny her unequivocal cultural force, selling out stadium after stadium with her infectious pop songs. And after her recent contribution to the #metoo movement, she is starting to show a little humanity after all.

Barenaked Ladies

7.11 – EXPRESS Live!

It’s hard to think of a band that better encapsulates the spirit of the ‘90s like the Barenaked Ladies—a time when gas was cheap, Bush was president, and Barenaked Ladies dominated radio waves. Bust out your oversized flannels, mom jeans, and combat boots, for it’s time to relive a bygone era. Don’t know all the words? No worries, these Canadians have admitted to making up some of their nonsensical lyrics onstage as they go.

Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly


If there are two big names that are synonymous with Celtic rock, complete with anthem-style drinking songs and plenty of Irish attitude, it’s the Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly. We couldn’t think of a pairing that makes more sense, save for corn beef and cabbage.

Courtney Barnett

7.14 – Newport Music Hall

Barnett’s deadpan delivery and poignant lyrics about the mundanity of life live at the core of her aesthetic—an inscrutable, Australian girl telling it like it is behind a soft, lazy guitar, fitting her right in with the bygone ’90s slacker genre. Think Pavement with a touch of Lou Reed and a dash of Frankie Cosmos. Her self-released record has gained her praise from Pitchfork among others, landing her a global tour and a collaboration record with her brooding indie rock counterpart, Kurt Vile.

Hanson with Picnic at the Pops

7.14 – Columbus Commons

It doesn’t matter if you are male, female, if you were alive in the early nineties, you had a secret crush on at least one of the Hanson boys. Whether it was their luscious golden locks or their sugary sweet beats is hard to say, but love ‘em or hate ‘em, they were the boy band of their time. Look out One Direction, Hanson is back, and this time they got the entire Columbus Symphony Orchestra at their disposal to make you gush just like old times.


7.15 – Nationwide Arena

These kids were fresh out of high school when they were thrusted in pop-punk stardem, greeting a generation of sad boys and girls with a fresh baroque sound. Crafting theatrical songs infused with perceptive lyrics and mechanical beats, Panic! are the forefront of the pop-punk genre.

George Clinton And Parliament Funkadelic

7.20 – Hollywood Casino

It doesn’t get much better than a free show at the casino—that is, until you add in the funkiest band in history. From rocking diapers to zoot suits, George Clinton has been bringing the funk since the 60’s, blending elements of psychedelia, blues, groove, and of soul to his seemingly endless catalog of records. Even Donald Glover looks up to the man, citing him as a key inspiration for his Childish Gambino album, Awaken My Love.


7.23 – Schottenstein Center

At some point during the early 21st century, Radiohead became more than just a band—they evolved from indie stalwarts to a cultural phenomenon, a melancholic touchstone for music fans who crave adventure and longing and pain and courage in their music. This isn’t just a rock concert—it is a collective experience.



Ween has always tiptoed the line of parody and novelty, a prodigiously talented duo whose daffy take on alternative rock mutated the genre itself. They were the goofballs of the alt-rock era, deviant deconstructionists who refused to take anything too seriously, creating a sound that satirizes the genre while still firmly standing on its own two feet.

Coheed and Cambria & Taking Back Sunday


Melodic hardcore might seem like an oxymoron, but these icons transcend seamlessly between thrashing guitars and accessible pop, their sounds often associated with the screamo scene of the early 2000’s. It’s hard to say how many breakups have resulted in a TBS marathon, but we know that we have more than likely been a part of that statistic.

Marilyn Manson w/ Jonathan Davis and The Melvins


Due to Manson’s stage props turning on and injuring him during a performance last year, we were left with a canceled Columbus show and shattered Manson dreams. But things are looking up, as the Mensa-goth icon has made a full recovery and will be returning to our city, bringing with him one of the most prolific names in garage punk, The Melvins, and Johnathan Davis, the lead singer of the nu-metal sensation, Korn.

Jay-Z and Beyonce

8.16 – Ohio Stadium

Herein lies the definition of a power couple—two equally prolific cultural forces touring the world together, bringing their all-star hits to the masses hand-in-hand. Considering the monumental crossover of their fanbase, this just makes perfect sense. The only thing we can hope for is that they play “Crazy In Love.” If not, we will have more than “99 Problems.”


8.26 – Breakaway Music Festival at Mapfre Stadium

Mumble rap as a genre often all blends together, but there is something absolutely distinguishable about Migos—perhaps it is their quick-paced, Atlanta flow or quirky, rhythmic wordplay that pushed this related trio to the top seemingly overnight. Sure, the casual listener might scoff at their seemingly simple, single-heavy repertoire, but upon close inspection, the Breakaway Sunday headliner could have a lasting impression on hip-hop as we know it.

Fall Out Boy

9.9 – Nationwide Arena

If you ever wondered why the emo scene lasted so long, and how the screamo aesthetic managed to boil over the sound into the mainstream, you have Fall Out Boy to thank. Selling over four million records to a once niche audience is no easy feat. After years of tightening their polished metal-core sound, this Chicago-based emo band has given millions of fans something to cry about.

Car Seat Headrest

9.9 – Newport Music Hall

Car Seat Headrest teeters between softly murmured folk—as if founder, Will Toledo, is lying by your side whispering his lyrics into year ear—and high intensity, deeply satisfying lo-fi pop, a juxtaposition of tiptoed sweetness and crashing guitar lines. Technique and ambitious songwriting have thrust the English major into indie rock stardom, rightfully so.

Gary Numan

9.16 – Newport Music Hall

In the 80’s, Gary Numan was pioneering the popular synth-pop sound, paving the way for the likes of MGMT and Tame Impala, among others. You may know him for his hit about cars, but this isn’t a one trick pony—Numan is an extraordinary talent with an impressive catalog of groundbreaking music. It’s no wonder that NIN’s Trent Reznor names his as a key influence.

J. Cole with Young Thug

9.23 –  Schottenstein Center

After days of standing outside the offices of Jay-Z with his mixtape, a young J. Cole was more than surprised that he would be the first artist signed to his idol’s Roc Nation label, catapulting him into the public eye and and making him one of the most successful rappers in the early 2010’s.

Shakey Graves

9.25 – Newport Music Hall

In a recent interview, Shakey, AKA Alejandro Rose-Garcia, admitted that a fan approached him and said that his music inspired her to be homeless. While romanticizing homelessness wasn’t quite his intention, this demonstrates the galvanizing prowess of his music, a smokey spectral fusion of folk and blues in the style of a one-man-band.

Maroon Five

9.25 – Nationwide Arena

With the perfect concoction of neo soul and polished pop, Maroon Five was the answer to the new millennium, sweeping the nation with their contagious, light-hearted sound. Though they have had ups and downs in their career, there certainly was a point when you couldn’t walk into a mall or grocery store without having “This Love” stuck in your head for weeks thereafter.  Chances are, it is now whooshing through your brain after reading this blurb. You’re welcome.

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Arts & Culture

How Bazaar: Popup arts fest shines a light on local creatives

Mike Thomas



While cultivating a newfound sense of personal fulfillment might be as simple as picking up a paint brush or instrument, earning a living through your art is a more complicated prospect. As longtime friends, collaborators, and Columbus art-scene hustlers Dustin Bennett and Zak Biggard will tell you, making it as an artist sometimes comes down to who you know.

Having met years ago as coworkers at a local printmaking shop, Bennett and Biggard have gone on to individual success with their own creative design firms. For Bennett, part of this work entails curating the art displayed at Clintonville’s Global Gallery, a cafe and art space that is committed to promoting fair trade handcrafted products from around the world.

When an exhibition Bennett was planning for the space fell through, he reached out to Biggard to fill the vacancy with his work. The resulting show was a hit, with Biggard selling several pieces in one of Global Gallery’s most successful exhibitions to date.

Biggard and Bennett outside of Global Gallery (Photo: Brian Kaiser)

His reputation with the venue established, Biggard approached Amy Palmer, Global Gallery’s manager, with an idea for a large-scale show. She gave him the thumbs up, and Biggard again partnered with Bennett to help bring his vision to light. The result is a show spanning three weekends in the month of August that the duo have dubbed Bazaar Ritual.

“The idea was a bazaar, this sort of Middle-Eastern marketplace where you walk in and it’s just a feast for the senses,” says Biggard. “All of these different sights, sounds, smells—everything packed together.”

As mutually beneficial as their collaborations had been, the Bennett and Biggard hope to open the doors of opportunity wide to other artists. Through this new exhibition/festival, the two aim to shed a light on creators who may not know how to navigate the sometimes complicated process of getting work into a conventional art show.

“Most of these people have never been involved in the gallery scene or never been able to show their work off,” Biggard explains. “They are just so excited to be a part of something, and the stuff I’ve been seeing from people, I just can't wait to have everything together in one place.”

When the exhibitors do come together for the popup-style event on August 3rd, 17th, and 31st, they will bring with them works across a diverse range of media.

“We’ve got people who make jewelry, clothing, glass blowers, painters and performance artists,” says Biggard. “It’s really the diversity of the work that’s the theme.”

As diverse as the work on display in the show will be, the exhibitors themselves hail from various disparate walks of life—everyone from nurses to dog walkers, printmakers to salespeople, as Bennett explains. In addition to the work shown during the recurring weekend events, each artist in Bazaar Ritual will have the opportunity to display one piece in Global Gallery throughout the month of August. Artists will keep 100% of the proceeds sold throughout the month and during the weekend events.

Along with providing a platform, the Bennett and Biggard hope that Bazaar Ritual will serve as a networking hub where creatives can meet and form collaborations of their own. Response from artists interested in taking part has already been building organically, with those involved telling their friends, those friends bringing more friends, and so on.

In addition to the prospect of hanging out with artists and perusing the exhibitions, the organizers of Bazaar Ritual have a number of surprises in store for attendees. Food trucks will be on hand, as well as live local music on Global Gallery’s spacious patio.

Though Bennett and Bigard are working diligently to bring this fledgling event to fruition, the two seem calm in the lead up to the show. Their artist-first approach lends a communal feel to the event, with creatives joining forces to put on an organized yet laid-back experience that shirks the corporate mold of some traditional gallery settings.

“We’re trying to do what art is meant to do and bring people together,” says Bennett. “We’re trying to bring together as many friends and strangers as we can—motleys and misfits alike.”

Global Gallery is located at 3535 N High St, in Clintonville. You can visit Bazaar Ritual there from 1:00 PM to 8:00 PM on the 3rd, the 17th, and the 31st of August. For more information, check out @bazaarritual on Instagram.

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Arts & Culture

Arts Fest Preview: Kate Morgan, 2D mixed media artist





Kate Morgan began developing her ghostly, layered two-dimensional portraits after going back to school at the Columbus College of Art & Design in 2005. She already had some background in visual arts through her work in fashion and commercial photography, so the transition to drawing and painting was organic.

Morgan’s textured collages are inspired by folklore, mythology and a variety of artistic periods — especially Byzantine art. The 2011 Columbus Arts Festival Emerging Artist alum and 2019 exhibiting artist welcomes a wide array of complex themes into her pieces — including symbolic, cultural, historical and spiritual themes — while utilizing layers of vintage paper and original drawings to create visual depth and a sense of mystery.

Her pieces are purposely vague, leaning toward more minimalistic ideas to allow for wider interpretation by audiences. Largely her art depicts the female form, with as many layers and stories to tell as that of every human being. This is done with an eclectic assortment of materials — including sheet music, German Biblical pages, newspaper and maps — to add detail in both a topical and textural sense.

And yet, Morgan still continues to look for a challenge. From venturing away from her familiar blue hues to exploring different mediums like ceramics, her work knows no creative limits.

Morgan has exhibited at the Columbus Arts Festival nearly every year since 2011. She has gone on to win two jurors’ choice awards in the 2D category at the Columbus Arts Festival, as well as sell and have work juried at other major festivals across the country. In Columbus, her work can be seen as part of the Columbus Makes Art and Donatos Pizza collaborative mural “Every Piece Is Important” at the John Glenn Columbus International Airport.

Morgan has a BFA from CCAD and currently works out of her Franklinton studio in Columbus. Experience this stunning work first hand when you visit her at booth M572 on the Main Street Bridge during the Columbus Arts Festival from June 7-9 at the downtown riverfront.

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Arts & Culture

Be Square: Changes coming to arts community at 400 W Rich

Mike Thomas



If you haven't visited the thriving arts community at 400 West Rich street in awhile, you might be surprised to see how much things have changed. Now, the minds behind the city's hub for the arts are changing things up to better reflect the area's evolution.

400 Square is the new collective moniker for the array of concepts that currently occupy the buildings on the 400 block of Rich street in Franklinton. The rebrand seeks to unify the community of artistic innovators who call the area developed by Urban Smart Growth their creative home.

Promo art for 400 Square by Anthony Damico

Spaces encompassed in the rebrand include Strongwater, The Vanderelli Room, and Chromedge Studios, and of course, the studios at 400 W. Rich. While the name may be changing, the group remains committed to providing and sustaining a thriving hub for creatives through education, resources, and entertainment opportunities in the area.

With the launch of 400 Square, Urban Smart Growth Director of Operations Seth Stout has led his team to develop new offerings for each of the growing spaces. Food and Beverage Director Lauren Conrath and Events Director Molly Blundred have taken the lead with changes to the Strongwater brand, while Community Director Stephanie McGlone and Art Director AJ Vanderelli are facilitating programming for all ages and abilities on the artist side.

Through all of the changes on the way, the staff at 400 Square are committed to bringing the public the same high quality of workshops, events, exhibitions, and more that have always been part of their unique creative community.

Stay tuned for more info—the new 400 Square officially rolls out during the weekend of Columbus Arts Fest 2019, June 7-9.

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